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19 Mar 2021 | 11:19

London midday: Stocks in the red amid inflation worries

(Sharecast News) - London stocks were still firmly in the red by midday on Friday amid worries about inflation and fresh lockdowns, after France imposed new Covid-19 restrictions. The FTSE 100 was down 0.9% at 6,719.76.

Milan Cutkovic, market analyst at Axi, said: "The latest tech sell-off and a slight uptick in bond yields brought markets under pressure and signalled that inflation fears have not completely disappeared.

"Markets reacted positively to the US Federal Reserve seeing a rate rise unlikely until 2023, but there are still concerns that the central bank might let the economy run hot.

"A continuation of the stock market rally still appears likely, but investors should expect a bumpy ride as the turbulence on the bond market is not over yet."

In equity markets, travel and leisure-related stocks were under the cosh, with engine maker Rolls-Royce, British Airways owner IAG, Premier Inn owner Whitbread and InterContinental Hotels all weaker.

Oil giants Shell and BP gushed lower as oil prices slid.

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon was down after it swung to a heavy half-year loss as it felt the impact of Covid restrictions. The company reported a loss before tax and exceptionals of £46.2m compared with a profit of £57.9m.

Shopping centre owner Hammerson was knocked lower by a downgrade to 'underweight' at Barclays and to 'sell' at Goldman Sachs.

Investec slumped after it said full-year adjusted earnings per share are expected to be around 20% to 29% behind the prior year.

On the upside, National Grid was a high riser after HSBC upgraded the shares to 'buy'.

NatWest ticked a little higher after saying it is spending £1.1bn to buy almost 5% of its shares from the UK Treasury, which became the bank's majority shareholder during the financial crisis.



Market Movers

FTSE 100 (UKX) 6,719.76 -0.88% FTSE 250 (MCX) 21,442.85 -0.58% techMARK (TASX) 4,189.42 -0.75%

FTSE 100 - Risers

National Grid (NG.) 841.60p 1.52% Ocado Group (OCDO) 2,006.00p 1.31% Imperial Brands (IMB) 1,456.00p 1.15% Morrison (Wm) Supermarkets (MRW) 179.65p 1.10% British American Tobacco (BATS) 2,786.50p 0.91% Aveva Group (AVV) 3,440.00p 0.88% Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,225.00p 0.82% DCC (CDI) (DCC) 6,202.00p 0.81% NATWEST GROUP PLC ORD 100P (NWG) 192.00p 0.79% Tesco (TSCO) 227.80p 0.75%

FTSE 100 - Fallers

Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 118.40p -4.94% International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 208.00p -3.61% Burberry Group (BRBY) 2,043.00p -3.36% Whitbread (WTB) 3,320.00p -3.01% HSBC Holdings (HSBA) 430.00p -2.62% Informa (INF) 583.20p -2.57% Melrose Industries (MRO) 174.05p -2.47% Standard Chartered (STAN) 491.10p -2.40% InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 4,981.00p -2.37% Anglo American (AAL) 2,834.00p -2.36%

FTSE 250 - Risers

Sanne Group (SNN) 601.00p 4.70% Airtel Africa (AAF) 90.00p 3.45% Ferrexpo (FXPO) 395.00p 2.38% CLS Holdings (CLI) 237.50p 2.37% Hiscox Limited (DI) (HSX) 859.60p 2.16% UK Commercial Property Reit Limited (UKCM) 73.60p 1.94% 888 Holdings (888) 355.00p 1.87% 4Imprint Group (FOUR) 2,310.00p 1.76% Clarkson (CKN) 2,620.00p 1.75% Rathbone Brothers (RAT) 1,726.00p 1.53%

FTSE 250 - Fallers

Apax Global Alpha Limited (APAX) 192.00p -8.35% Investec (INVP) 215.90p -6.58% Hammerson (HMSO) 35.00p -6.02% Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 962.00p -5.87% TUI AG Reg Shs (DI) (TUI) 393.80p -5.70% Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 97.40p -4.65% XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 4,780.00p -3.82% Meggitt (MGGT) 486.90p -3.55% easyJet (EZJ) 992.40p -3.46% SSP Group (SSPG) 315.80p -3.37%
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